Rafa Benitez said Napoli are “on the right path” after winning the Coppa Italia, beating Cagliari and setting a club record.
With 91 goals scored, this is a new club record for the Partenopei in a single Serie A season.
“I said beforehand that the Coppa Italia Final wouldn’t change anything, but clearly the victory and tonight’s 3-0 win meant we are on the right path,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
Marek Hamsik had hoped to break his goal drought after six months, but fired a penalty on to the crossbar.
“It’s a shame for Marek, as he worked so hard on the field and had chances to score apart from the penalty. He just has to continue like this.”
Lorenzo Insigne was eager to get a chance to shine now that he is fighting for a World Cup spot, so was visibly annoyed to be left on the bench.
“Our problem is that we have so many players who work every day that changes have to be made. I had to change Pepe Reina, so that used up a substitution, while I thought today Duvan Zapata and Radosevic deserved to play.”
In the second half and with Cagliari down to 10 men, Benitez changed his usual 4-2-3-1 system for a 4-1-4-1.
“Tonight I didn’t want to take out Marek or Goran Pandev, as he was playing really well, so we decided to move things around and put more quality on the wings.
“I think you can vary tactics. For me at the start it was more important to give the players a sense of certainty with a tactical shape that was always the same.
“We can easily play with a three-man midfield too, but as time goes on we get to know each other better and can work on different options.”
Benitez was asked what he thought of Liverpool’s capitulation in the Premier League, where they went from 3-0 up at Crystal Palace to 3-3, putting a huge dent in their title chances.
“Liverpool are a team who are very focused on the attack. I think they expected to score more goals in order to improve the goal difference with Manchester City.
“This happens in English football, as it is never over until the final whistle, you just need to throw a couple of balls into the box and it can all change.”